After being one of the top undrafted players left Thursday, Kobi Simmons may get a shot with the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported via Twitter on Friday that Simmons will sign a free-agent deal with the Grizzlies, though it is unknown if it might include a partial guarantee, be exclusively for a shot at the Grizzlies or lead to a two-way contract between the team and its G League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle.
Draft Express had Simmons ranked No. 76 among draft prospects this year, having also called the athletic guard a “microwave scorer” who could be a draft sleeper.
But Simmons fell out of UA’s playing rotation late last season and Draft Express noted that “Simmons is a long way from being able to help an NBA team, and he may need to bottom out first before his talent resurfaces.”
ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said during ESPN’s draft night coverage that Simmons made a mistake by coming out, though UA coach Sean Miller said last month that Simmons’ family has made it clear he wanted to get his pro career started early.
UA center Chance Comanche, rated the No. 88 prospect by Draft Express, also went undrafted and his future remains unknown. Comanche’s mother, Melissa McGee, told the Star that his agent is sorting out a few possibilities.
fit in Allen
Boston’s draft of Kadeem Allen appeared to be part of a movement to stack the roster with athletic, two-way wing players. The team also added top pick Jayson Tatum of Duke, SMU forward Semi Ojeleye and Cal’s Jabari Bird.
“They all sort of fit that category,” Boston GM Danny Ainge said during his draft night press conference. “Three of them are wing players and Semi can play some of the four, and Jayson can play some four in time. That’s the way the game’s headed.”
Greg Cassoli of SB Nation’s Celtics Blog wrote that the Celtics’ aim for versatility was foremost.
“There is no guarantee that any of the players Boston drafted will cash in on all the potential the Celtics see,” he wrote. “Being a versatile two-way player that can credibly defend multiple positions is extremely hard. In drafting a number of players of a similar ilk, Boston has placed a handful of relatively low-cost bets. If they hit on one or two, they’ll be excited. If they miss, it didn’t cost them much.”
Draft Express’ Mike Schmitz applauded the Celtics’ strategy.
“Celtics killing the second round,” Schmitz tweeted. “Kadeem Allen will be a ten year pro. One of the best perimeter defenders in this draft. Great story.”
Allen was unavailable for comment Thursday and Friday.
Sitting in the NBA draft green room with Markelle Fultz, his former star at Washington, was just another stop in Lorenzo Romar’s busy summer.
The new UA associate head coach has been recruiting, coaching Wildcats players in small group offseason drills, working Miller’s camps and trying to move to Tucson.
He’s been enjoying it.
“That’s what you want,” Romar said. “I love it. I absolutely love it. I’ve been able to get involved with the workouts of the guys and continue to learn how we do things, so it’s been great. It’s just a joy to work with the staff and what a great job Arizona has done in recruiting. The kids are really good kids. They’re fun to work with.”
Romar said he has finally made the move, though he kept his home in Seattle and didn’t buy one in Tucson — at least not yet.
“It was too quick a move” to buy a house, Romar said. “Whenever we move we’ve never bought right away except for Seattle.”
If you count former UCLA forward Jonah Bolden, who left the Bruins last summer to play professionally in Serbia, the Pac-12 actually set a record with 14 players taken in the draft Thursday and tied the ACC as the conferences with the most players taken in the draft.
No other conference had more than six, the number the Big Ten sent into the draft.
The Pac-12’s first-round draft haul included Fultz (1 to Philadelphia), UCLA’s Lonzo Ball (2 to Lakers), UA’s Lauri Markkanen (7 to Bulls), UCLA’s T.J. Leaf (18 to Indiana), Utah’s Kyle Kuzma (27 to Utah), Colorado’s Derrick White (29 to San Antonio).
In the second round, the Pac-12 produced Cal’s Ivan Rabb (35 to Memphis), Bolden (36 to Philadelphia), Oregon’s Jordan Bell (38 to Golden State), Oregon’s Tyler Dorsey (41 to Atlanta), Oregon’s Dillon Brooks (45 to Memphis), UCLA’s Ike Anigbogu (47 to Indiana), Allen and Bird.